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Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources

Strip-till practice catches on as buffer alternative

A conservation tillage method that only disturbs rows where seed will be planted is gaining traction as an alternative practice to bring properties into compliance with Minnesota's riparian buffer law. Strip-tilling requires less fertilizer and fewer working hours than conventional tilling while making fields less vulnerable to erosion. Click here for full story.

Saving forest cover, saving at-risk lakes in Aitkin, Crow Wing counties

"If you look at some of these lakes, all you’re going to see is a beautiful water body where the lakeshore looks pretty good. Conveying the urgency of protection is a little harder." — Steve Hughes, Aitkin SWCD Click here for full story.

Scenic Heights School Forest restoration unites volunteers, watershed

Wildlife and water quality will benefit from a collaboration among Riley Purgatory Bluff Creek Watershed District staff, Scenic Heights Elementary School students and a host of volunteers helping with a 7-acre restoration in Minnetonka School District’s Scenic Heights School Forest. Other partners include the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Hennepin County, Three Rivers Park District, the City of Minnetonka, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts. Click here for full story.

PRAP report shows increased compliance

BWSR's Performance Review and Assistance Program (PRAP) assesses how well a local government adheres to basic standards for conservation work such as on-time reporting, auditing, and maintaining updated water plans. A recent PRAP report indicates overall compliance has increased by 15 percent since 2014. Click here for full story.

Protecting Mississippi River headwaters habitat

"The primary purpose of the program — the reason it's funded by (the Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council) — is to protect critical fish and wildlife habitat along the first 400 miles of the river. Whenever you protect habitat, you're going to get clean-water benefits and vice versa." — Paula West, Mississippi Headwaters Habitat Corridor Project coordinator Click here for full story.

Plant of the Month: Virginia bluebells

Virginia bluebells can grow en masse in the floodplains and moist woodlands of southeastern Minnesota. Although this spring ephemeral grows up to 2.5 feet tall, it doesn't out-compete other plants. The pink buds turn into blue-lavender, bell-shaped flowers that attract bees, butterflies and moths. Click here for full story.

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March 28, 2019

One Watershed, ONe Plan 2019 Planning Grant Request For Proposals

St. Paul, Minn. — The Board of Water and Soil Resources is accepting proposals from partnerships of local governments wishing to collaboratively write a comprehensive watershed management plan under BWSR's One Watershed, One Plan program. Click here for more information.

February 19, 2019

BWSR 2019 Budget Fact Sheet

St. Paul, Minn. — Governor Tim Walz released his budget plan for the 2020-2021 biennium on Feb. 19. Click here to read more about what the budget means for BWSR.

· Budget for One Minnesota Fact Sheet
· Community Prosperity Budget Fact Sheet
· Education Budget Fact Sheet
· Health Care Budget Fact Sheet

December 27, 2018

BWSR Awards $13.7 million in Clean Water Fund Grants

St. Paul, Minn. — The Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) approved $13.7 million in Clean Water Fund grants on December 19 to improve water quality in streams, lakes, and groundwater across the state. Read the press release here.

December 12, 2018

Recognizing excellence in conservation

BWSR is pleased to announce the 2016 outstanding conservation award winners.

2018 Outstanding Watershed District Employee of the Year
Dan Livdahl, Okabena-Ocheda Watershed District

2018 Outstanding Soil and Water Conservation District Employee of the Year
Donna Rasmussen, Fillmore Soil and Water Conservation District

November 1, 2018

Wetland Banking Listening Sessions

The Board of Water and Soil Resources and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District are planning listening sessions in January 2019 to solicit feedback on ways to improve wetland banking in Minnesota. Topics to be covered at the sessions include: wetland banking forms, agency guidance, communication, agency review comments, and credit releases. Individuals interested in participating are asked to register in advance. Please read informational public notice for more information.

August 27, 2018

Local Governments Collaborate on Water Planning

St. Paul, Minn. — Continuing statewide work to shift local water planning to a more coordinated approach, the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) approved nine new planning grants for the One Watershed, One Plan program. The August 23rd board action allocates up to $2,200,000 in Clean Water Fund grants to fund nine planning projects to address water issues on a watershed basis. Read the press release here.

August 23, 2018

BWSR Board visits Rock and Nobles counties on annual tour

St. Paul, Minn. — Exploring the unique opportunities and challenges facing southwest Minnesota, the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) gathered local, state, and federal conservation staff for its annual Board Tour on August 22 in Rock and Nobles counties. The tour offers board members and staff a valuable opportunity to experience local conservation delivery in action by visiting a variety of projects that aim to improve water quality in the region. Read the press release here.

Announcements Archive

To view previous announcements, visit the archive

Legacy Amendment

Legacy Amendment logoInformation For Citizens: How These Dollars Are Being Spent and How You Can Participate

BWSR receives appropriations from the Clean Water, Land & Legacy Amendment to pay for on-the-ground conservation projects that provide multiple benefits for water quality and wildlife habitat.

Buffer Program

Enacted 2015 legislation requires a new approach to buffers for designated waters in Minnesota. For more information on the Buffer Initiative, please visit

To view the State buffer page, click:

Minnesota CREP

In January 2017 Governor Mark Dayton signed a $500 million Minnesota Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) Agreement with the United States Department of Agriculture. This federal, state, and local partnership will work with farmers and other landowners across 54 counties in southern and western Minnesota who choose to voluntarily implement conservation practices on up to 60,000 acres of land to restore and protect water quality and enhance habitat.

Click here to learn more about the program.

One Watershed, One Plan

One Watershed, One Plan (1W1P) is an important planning initiative, conceived by local governments, passed by the legislature, and being developed by BWSR.

Click here to learn more about the program and opportunities.

Nonpoint Priority Funding Plan

The Nonpoint Priority Funding Plan (NPFP) is a criteria-based, systematic process to prioritize Clean Water Fund (CWF) nonpoint implementation investments.

Click here to learn more about the program and opportunities.

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About BWSR

BWSR Mission: Improve and protect Minnesota's water and soil resources by working in partnership with local organizations and private landowners

BWSR is the state soil and water conservation agency, and it administers programs that prevent sediment and nutrients from entering our lakes, rivers, and streams; enhance fish and wildlife habitat; and protect wetlands. The 20-member board consists of representatives of local and state government agencies and citizens.

About BWSR


BWSR works in partnership with local government units, state and federal government agencies, and other organizations.

Local Government Units and Partner Agencies -- Overview of BWSR's conservation partners, includes directories, maps, guidance documents and publications.

Performance Review and Assistance Program (PRAP)

Performance Review and Assistance Program (PRAP) -- Through the PRAP, BWSR staff evaluate water management entities, and, where necessary, provide assistance.


The Technical Training page contains information on the Technical Training and Certification Strategy, program information, implementation details and programmatic updates.

The BWSR Training page has dates and locations of training sessions conducted by BWSR staff as well as other training-related information.


The BWSR Maps and Apps Portal contains maps and interactive web map applications that BWSR staff and partner agencies use to administer conservation programs.


Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources

520 Lafayette Road North, St. Paul, MN 55155 | (651) 296-3767 | Fax (651) 297-5615 | TTY (800) 627-3529

An Equal Opportunity Employer